A 15-year-old student at the Latin School of Chicago died by suicide in January after being tormented relentlessly on a false rumor that he was unvaccinated, as claimed by a lawsuit filed on Monday.
Nate Bronstein had transferred to the private school because of the in-person learning provided at the time of the coronavirus pandemic. The lawsuit, filed by Nate's parents, Robert and Rosellene Bronstein, states that even after numerous complaints were made in the matter the school administrators displayed "wilful failure" to do anything about the bullying, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Filed in Cook County, the complaint, contains details regarding the school, the number of employees as well as the parents of the alleged bullies. According to the lawsuit, a student whose parents are named in the lawsuit then began spreading a rumor that Nate was unvaccinated, that he actually was not but still he was tormented on a regular basis. Nate's parents even tried contacting the other student's family about the incessant harassing but unfortunately nothing came out of it.
According to the lawsuit, the constant badgering worsened with a teacher chastising Nate in class that he was going "nowhere in life." There were instances of cyberbullying also mentioned in the lawsuit which happened in mid-December, where students pressed him to kill himself on Snapchat. Nate did make an attempt to meet with a school administrator at that time, but his parents claim that not one of the students involved in the cyberbullying were disciplined or reprimanded, the NY post writes.
Nate's mother Rosellene tried reaching out to a counsellor in an effort to discuss the bullying episodes. She stated her fears on the matter as she thought Nate might severely hurt himself, but her concerns were belittled as "family issues."
"My son was so alone," Rosellene Bronstein told the Chicago Tribune, "not only were the administrators who were supposed to protect him ignoring his cries for help, but they had the self-serving gall to try to protect their own reputations after his death rather than just having the decency of being honest with his grieving family. This is a legal and moral failure that has caused us indescribable pain and agony."
Rosellene apparently approached Latin more than 30 times in October and November, but administrators turned a "blind eye" to the family's cries for help. Nate also reported the bullying incidents to a school dean, but was ignored, according to the lawsuit. Later on Rosellene came to know about her son requesting this meeting as the school never informed her.
"We would have known, and we would have protected him, and he'd still be here today," she said in a release. CBS Chicago reports, that a month after Nate was urged to kill himself due to cyberbullying, he was found hanging from a noose tied to a shower in a bathroom at the family's home on 13th January by his father, Robert Bronstein.
The lawsuit claims the Latin School of Chicago violated a state law requiring schools to investigate reports of bullying and to notify parents of all students involved. Latin, meanwhile, disregarded the allegations as "unfounded claims" while vowing to "vigorously defend" itself in court.
They released a statement later stating, "our hearts go out to the family, and we wish them healing and peace. With respect to their lawsuit, however, the allegations of wrongdoing by the school officials are inaccurate and misplaced. The school's faculty and staff are compassionate people who put students' interests first, as they did in this instance."
Chicago Tribune reported that the suit demands $100,000,000 on multiple counts and in a news release, the Bronstein family stated that they have plans to share any money they receive from the suit with anti-bullying organizations.